District News

The winner of Borders MSP John Lamont's Christmas card competition for schools across the region is five-year-old Emily Coyle, from Edenside Primary School in Kelso. Her design was chosen from 300 other entrants to be used for the politician's festive cards this year. Runners-up ' Anna Dickson, P6, Westruther Primary; Craig Cochrane, P5, Knowepark Primary; Emily Tweddle, P3, St Boswells Primary; Felicity Cromarty, P6, Parkside Primary; Jack McCulloch, P4, Coldstream Primary; Luisa Brown, P5, Lilliesleaf Primary; Paige Graham, S3, Selkirk High; Robyn Harvey, 2H1, Berwickshire High.
The winner of Borders MSP John Lamont's Christmas card competition for schools across the region is five-year-old Emily Coyle, from Edenside Primary School in Kelso. Her design was chosen from 300 other entrants to be used for the politician's festive cards this year. Runners-up ' Anna Dickson, P6, Westruther Primary; Craig Cochrane, P5, Knowepark Primary; Emily Tweddle, P3, St Boswells Primary; Felicity Cromarty, P6, Parkside Primary; Jack McCulloch, P4, Coldstream Primary; Luisa Brown, P5, Lilliesleaf Primary; Paige Graham, S3, Selkirk High; Robyn Harvey, 2H1, Berwickshire High.


Tuesday Talk

In the final Tuesday Talk of 2015, Stan Moscrop went on a whistle-stop tour of the American Mid West, following in the footsteps of the first pioneers. His presentation, illustrated with pictures, included Wild Bill Hicock, Calamity Jane, General Custer and the four Presidents on Mount Vernon. Tea and coffee was provided by Dorothy Robson and Fran Selkirk.

Bonchester Bridge


There will be a quiz and raffle at the Horse and Hound on December 28 at 7.30pm. Proceeds in aid of the village hall.


Parish church

Everyone was in a festive mood at the annual service on Sunday, conducted by Roy Owen. Highlight was the nativity play performed by the children of Caddonfoot Youth (CY), under Claire Macfarlane and Trina Bird, while seven-year-old Hannah Birch inspired the congregation when she played the piano during the offering. It was a big day for the Birch family as grandfather Bill celebrated his 80th birthday and everyone sang “Happy Birthday”. The Reverend Elspeth Harley joined the congregation and will conduct the candlelit watchnight service on Christmas Eve at 11.15pm, with the singing of carols starting at 11pm. On Sunday, after the Advent candles had been lit, Atholl Innes performed a Bible reading, and Margaret Blyth and Anne Grieve played the music. Afterwards, tea, coffees, sherry and mince pies were served. Next Sunday, the elders and members of Caddonfoot will lead the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Members were also asked to save their disused Christmas stamps for the Eden Valley Hospice charity.


Art event

The residents’ association in the village sponsored an art competition in the local primary school. All the entries were on display in the United Parish Church exhibition space. Association chairman Bill Frew presented the prizes and certificates to winners Lucy Carson (P1-3), Jenna Robb (P4-5) and Christopher Coates (P6-7).


The community cafe in the United Parish Church has now been running around six months. An informal reception took place when Bill Frew, of the district residents’ association, thanked the dedicated team of volunteers whose efforts had made the cafe such a success. Around 30 volunteers had baked, served and provided a warm welcome to customers. People now regularly visit the cafe from the likes of Langholm, Longtown and Newcastleton, and further afield.


Parish church

The Christmas Eve family service is at 6.30pm in the church. Come and see The Grumpy Innkeeper performed. The watchnight service at 11.15pm will be

conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. On Christmas Day, the service begins at 10.15am – Presents and Praise, so bring along a present to show. On Decmber 27 the service of lessons and carols will be conducted by members of the worship team. January 3 – 10.15am, New Year communion service.



Three past members returned from afar to join Edgerston ladies at The Carters Rest for their 88th birthday lunch on December 9. President Rosemary Wilkes welcomed everyone to the meal. The wrapped-parcel competition was won by Evelyn Grierson, and the points cup by Marion Anderson. The meeting to be held on January 13 (2pm) at Edgerston Hall will feature a holiday talk. New members and visitors are always welcome and if transport is required, telephone 01835 864875.



Galashiels library will be temporarily closed from January 18-February 15 for refurbishment. From January 20-February 13, a replacement mobile library service will operate outside the library on Lawyer’s Brae at the following times: Monday, 10am-4pm; Tuesday, 10am-4pm; Wednesday, 10am-4pm; Thursday, 10am-5pm; Friday, 10am-4pm; Saturday, 10am-noon. During these times, library users and members of the public will have limited access to computers in the meeting room on the ground floor of Galashiels Library.

Trinity church

On Friday evening, the Christmas show, “Who put the X Factor into Christmas?”, raised £570. The main objective was not to raise money, but to have fun and to enjoy fellowship – and that was definitely a success. On Sunday, the congregation welcomed back Roy Owen who conducted the family Christmas service. The choir, under the direction of Dorothy Howden, played a large part in the proceedings, singing a selection of festive songs. The Kidz Klub presented their version of Christmas Countdown. Audrey Leishman read the lessons. There will be a christingle service on Thursday, December 24, at 6pm in the church and if anyone can help with the preparations for this, come along to the church hall at 10am. The watchnight carol service is also on Christmas Eve. This will be held at Caddonfoot Church from 11pm and led by the Reverend Elspeth Harley.


The Roxburgh Singers perform Howard Goodall’s requiem, “Eternal Light”, and Tippett’s setting of 5 Negro Spirituals from his Cantata “A Child of our Time” at Trinity Church, Galashiels, on January 24 and Kelso Old Parish Church on the 31st. Both concerts start 3pm. Tickets at the door £10, with accompanied children free.


Lady Stewartby, grand-daughter of John Buchan, gave a talk entitled “From the 39 Steps to Governor-General of Canada and the Years In-Between” to last Thursday’s meeting attended by 61 members. Her presentation stretched from Buchan’s birth in Perth in 1875 as a son of the manse, through Glasgow University and Brasenose College Oxford. In 1901 he was called to the Bar and spent two years in South Africa as private secretary to the High Commissioner. During the First World War he served on the HQ staff until 1917 when he became director of information. He was MP for the Scottish Universities from 1927-1935, becoming 1st Baron Tweedsmuir and Governor-General of Canada in1935. Despite a busy professional life, he wrote more than 50 books, including a biography of Sir Walter Scott. The next meeting is on January 14, featuring a talk by Lorna Balfour entitled “South America”.

Clef Club

Gala Clef Club celebrated its Christmas meeting, aided by the intrepid posse of Molly Pringle, Martin Marroni and Stuart Graham, who made it through Storm Desmond from Kelso to be at the Lucy Sanderson Hall. Molly opened with Margaret Lang to play two piano duets – “Lo How a Rose” and “Sussex Carol”. Margaret Dick then stepped in with an inspired selection of Christmas pieces by Mendelssohn. This was followed by the Kelso posse performing John Reid’s Solo No. 1, arranged for the trio sonata of Martin Marroni (flute), Stuart Graham (baritone horn) and Molly Pringle (piano). Molly completed the evening with a hymn by John Ireland – “Holy Boy”, followed with the “Kashmiri Song” by Amy Woodforde-Finden. Members enjoyed mulled wine, mince pies and other festive goodies to round-off the evening. The next meeting is on January 23. For more information about the club, contact 07780 378590 or visit www.onlineborders.org.uk/community/galaclefclub.



Monthly whist drive – ladies – 1, Sandra Jeffrey; 2, Heather Wylie; 3, Greta Middlemas; booby, Maureen Gibson; gents – 1, Bill Millar; 2, Ann Kellett; 3, Peter Hedley; booby, Mary McTaggart; bingo, Angus Cameron.


At a floral art demonstration and hands-on workshop with Gale from Border Blooms, one of the demonstration pieces was raffled, courtesy of Mary Beaton and Ena Lunn, with Cath Turner being the delighted winner.



There will be services on Christmas Day (11am) and Sunday, December 27, (10.30am) in Innerleithen Church.


Bridge club

December 16 – Rose Bowl 4 – N/S – 1, Val Johnstone & Mary Millar; 2, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 3, Bob Stevenson & Annie Mitchell; E/W – 1, Gerry Eglington & Jon Bridger; 2, Ian & Eliz Ross; 3, Brian Saywood & Ken Ross. December 17 – Millennium Trophy – N/S – 1, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 2, Bob Stevenson & Lee Leeson; 3, David Harris-Burland & Sheila Urquhart; E/W – 1, Gerry Eglington & Jon Bridger; 2, Annie Mitchell & John Loudon; 3, Tricia Reynolds & John Urquhart.


See Galashiels section.



Organisers of the Muckle Toon Producers’ Market, which is held once a month in the Buccleuch Centre, made their usual cheque presentations to local good causes at their Christmas event. Secretary Janice Steven introduced the chairman and treasurer, Jim Robertson, who presented £100 cheques to representatives of the Thomas Hope Hospital, parish church, day centre and junior town band. He also presented £50 cheques to the Scouts, Rangers, Brownies, Guides and Toddlers. The stallholders pay a set fee to the committee, and after deductions to pay the hall and other costs, any remaining surplus is given to the good causes.


Carol singing

Local Rotarians paid their annual visit to Priorswood Court on Thursday night for a carol singing service. The residents were treated to all the old favourites, while enjoying a glass of sherry and mince pies. The evening concluded with a visit from Santa for each resident.

Parish church

January Life and Work ready for collection; foodbank ongoing; Christmas Eve services – 6pm (christingle) and 11.15pm watchnight; Christmas Day services – 9.30am (Bowden) and 11am (Melrose); December 27 – baptisms at Bowden and Melrose (usual times).


The Trimontium Trumpet is the annual newsletter of the trust and the T29/30 issue has arrived from the printers bearing a double number because it covers 2014 and most of 2015. Based on weekly paragraphs submitted to the local press throughout the year, it covers the loans from the National Museums; the work of the volunteers in running the museum and the walks, including Old Melrose; the six celebrity lectures; the outing; obituaries; hopes for the future and photographs. Subscriptions (unchanged for almost 30 years) are due for continuing membership of the garrison.

Christmas dinner

There was a good attendance at the Rotary Club of Melrose Christmas dinner to hear president Norman Melrose announce that the club was sending £500 to WaterAid to support their initiative of bringing clean running water to maternity hospitals in the Third World. In addition, £100 is being sent to Embrace the Middle East to help with reconstruction and training of health staff.

Santa’s grotto

Following the Melrose Christmas parade and carol singing in the square, organised by Melrose Rotary Club, more than 60 children followed Santa into his grotto in the Corn Exchange to tell him what they would most like for Christmas. Parents, grandparents and other carol singers where able to warm up with mulled wine and mince pies donated by the Co-operative.



Members held their Christmas lunch in the Cross Keys, Denholm, on December 12. It was a little late in starting as there were considerable traffic difficulties in the surrounding area, causing some to be delayed in arriving.

Proceedings began with a minute’s silence for the late Grace Beck who had been a stalwart member for many years. After the meal, there were light-hearted games followed by the secret Santa Sack. Competition – best Linus square – 1, Pat Jardine; 2, Sheila Marshall; 3, Jill Fox; 4, Margaret Armstrong. About 30 squares were collected and will be converted into baby blankets for the BGH unit. The next meeting will be a games night on January 13 in Denholm Village Hall from 7pm.


Lunch club

Twenty members and helpers enjoyed a Christmas meal at the Templehall Hotel. The club restarts in the institute on January 12.

Joint service

A joint service at Morebattle Church was held on Sunday when children from the Cool Club set the scene of the nativity, along with joint choirs of Yetholm and Morebattle taking part. Everyone enjoyed the carol singing and lessons were read by members of the congregation.


There will be a Christmas quiz in the Templehall on December 27 (7.30pm for 8pm). Teams arranged on the night.


Morebattle Village Hall hosts an Auld Year’s Night party from 7.30pm to 12.30am. Bring own bottle – party food provided. Free admission. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Names with numbers should be added to the list in the village shop. All welcome.


Band boost

Selkirk Silver Band has received £300 from Bowhill House and Country Estate’s Community Fund. The cash will be used tp buy music and music stands for its newly-formed beginners’ group.



“Festive Monsters” was the subject of the club’s December gathering. Appropriate readings had been found, including lines from writers such as Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe and H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon’s Mines). The “Monster” subject couldn’t be without words from Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” published in 1818. There were also funny snippets and two children’s plays were read. The meeting concluded by watching slides of the recent storm as it had flooded the Tweed past the golf course to Mertoun Bridge. January’s subject will be “Storms”. This meeting will again be held on a Thursday (7.30-9.30pm) – the actual date will be confirmed once the venue has been booked.



There will be a traditional carol service in Traquair Kirk on December 24. It starts at 7pm.



The next service in the Public Hall will be on January 17 at 10am.



A quiz night will be held on Wednesday, January 6, at 8pm in the Plough Hotel, with proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Care.


There will be a children’s Hogmanay party in the Wauchope Hall from 2-3.30pm – disco, party games and optional fancy dress. Entry £2 and all proceeds go to Leuchie House and Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. Donations of food welcome.


Rehearsals for the annual village panto start on January 6 at 7.15pm in the Wauchope Hall.